sports

Torn cartilage rapidly repaired with new healing gel; sports injuries may be first application

Tuesday, January 18, 2005
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
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Summary

Football players and others who have to combat torn cartilage may have new reason for hope, following the discovery of a gel used to treat such injuries. Researchers at MIT and Harvard are working on an injectable gel which could speed up the repair of torn cartilage. The procedure involves using the patientís own cartilage-producing cells and may be more effective than conventional repair techniques.

Original source:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220031005.htm

Details

In a project that will likely be watched by football players, runners and other athletes, researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School say they are developing an injectable gel that could speed repair of torn cartilage, a common sports injury, and may help injured athletes return to competition sooner. The technique uses the patient's own cartilage-producing cells and has the potential to be more effective and less invasive than conventional cartilage repair techniques, which may include extensive surgery, they say. When the liquid mixture is injected into areas where cartilage is torn, such as a knee joint, the material hardens into a gel upon exposure to ultraviolet light, leaving the transplanted cells in place so they can grow new cartilage where it is needed. The biodegradable material will be described in the Jan. 10 issue of Biomacromolecules, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. "Using a patient's own cartilage-producing cells, our goal is to place the cells into our new gel and inject them into the injury site so that cartilage grows where it is needed," says study lead author Jason A. Burdick, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. Burdick compares the procedure, in which the injectable liquid is turned into a gel, to "making Jell-O." "We would eventually like to make a material that is as strong as cartilage in order to bear the load of the joint immediately after implantation," Burdick says, "but we're not quite there yet." If those tests are successful, human studies could eventually follow. Until then, no one knows how fast it will repair damaged cartilage in humans, but researchers are optimistic that it will be much speedier once the technique is optimized.

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About the author: Mike Adams is a natural health researcher, author and award-winning journalist with a strong interest in personal health, the environment and the power of nature to help us all heal He has authored more than 1,800 articles and dozens of reports, guides and interviews on natural health topics, and he has published numerous courses on preparedness and survival, including financial preparedness, emergency food supplies, urban survival and tactical self-defense. Adams is an independent journalist with strong ethics who does not get paid to write articles about any product or company. In 2010, Adams created TV.NaturalNews.com, a natural living video sharing site featuring thousands of user videos on foods, fitness, green living and more. He's also the CEO of a highly successful email newsletter software company that develops software used to send permission email campaigns to subscribers. Adams is currently the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit, and enjoys outdoor activities, nature photography, Pilates and martial arts training. Known on the 'net as 'the Health Ranger,' Adams shares his ethics, mission statements and personal health statistics at www.HealthRanger.org

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